Original Commodores Members Win Long-Running Name Dispute

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Two founding members of the funk band the “Commodores” have won the right to use the band’s name and trademark after a years-long legal dispute.

Last week, a Florida appeals court ruled in favor of Commodores founders William King and Walter Orange who run the Commodores Entertainment Corporation (CEC). King and Orange had sued former Commodores member Thomas McClary for trademark infringement in 2014 after he performed using variations of the group’s name, including “The Commodores featuring Thomas McClary.” McClary countered that he had ownership in CEC and sued the company for fraud and challenged its trademarks.

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

Company Names: The Ups and Downs of Using Your Personal Name 

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 16 January, 2018

Is it a good idea to name your company after yourself?

A recent New York Times article, “There’s More to Naming a Company After Yourself Than Ego,” took a look at the pros and cons of using your personal name for your company.

Two often-cited examples of successes mentioned in the article are Michael R. Bloomberg, owner of Bloomberg L.P., the financial software and media company and US President Donald Trump’s namesake brand, The Trump Organization, whose name appears on nearly all of his company’s real estate properties.

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Topics: trademark, names

“Make America Great Again”-Inspired Trademarks Abound 

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Thursday, 11 January, 2018

Ever since a nonprofit organization called Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. first submitted a trademark application for “Make America Great Again” in 2012, there have been nearly 300 trademark applications filed with the USPTO for similar phrases, according to Time magazine.

Many of the MAGA-inspired phrases filed for trademarks follow two formats: either “Make [XYZ] Great Again,” or “Make America [Adjective] Again.” There’s “Make America Grate Again” for cheese graters, of course, along with “Make Jerky Great Again,” “Make America’s Grape Again,” and “Make Hip-Hop Timeless Again,” among others. Time reports that 42 of these trademark applications have been approved and 64 have been rejected or withdrawn.

It’s been pointed out in the media that Trump wasn’t the first to use the phrase “Make America Great Again.” It was used in the 1980s by Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign, as seen on this campaign button:

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Topics: trademark

Don Q Rum v. Donq Bakery Trademark Opposition Dismissed 

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Wednesday, 10 January, 2018

Don Q is a Puerto Rican rum brand. Donq is a chain of Japanese bakeries. Do you think these two brand names are similar? Let’s see what the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) said.

Donq bakeries, owned by Japanese company Kabushiki Kaisa Donq, filed a trademark application with the USPTO for food and beverage items and retail services in September 2010. Destilería Serrallés, the makers of Don Q rum, filed an opposition to the mark.

Late last month, the TTAB dismissed the Destilería Serrallés opposition while acknowledging that the two brand names “are similar in appearance, sound, commercial impression and connotation.”

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Topics: trademark, trademark infringement

"Steve Jobs" is a Clothing Company in Italy    

by T+B BLOG TEAM on Tuesday, 9 January, 2018

Back in 2012, two Italian brothers, Vincenzo and Giacomo Barbato, happened to notice that Apple Inc. had not registered trademarks in the name of its founder Steve Jobs. The Barbatos had started a clothing and accessory company and decided to settle on "Steve Jobs" as its name and then filed a trademark application for it.

Not surprisingly, Apple sued the Barbato brothers and the case ended up in court for a few years. Apple focused its lawsuit on the letter "J" in the Italian company's logo, which was designed with a bitemark on its side (sound familiar?) and topped with a leaf (ditto). In 2014, a European Union Intellectual Property Office ruling stated that the letter "J" is not edible and therefore it cannot be based on Apple's iconic logo.

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Topics: trademark

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The title says it all. This is a blog about trademarks and brands, expanding the expertise and resources you’ve come to expect from Corsearch. From expert research tips to the inside scoop on productivity solutions, join the conversation about trademarks and brands.

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